Coronado Building; The Magnus - 900-920 9TH AV

 Print Listing Historical Name - Coronado Building
Style - Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movements/Commercial Style
Built Year - 1905-06
State ID - 5WL2284

Description - This 20th Century Commercial style commercial building is a rectangular, two-story, brick structure with a flat roof. Roof features originally included a cornice, which was removed and has not been replaced, and a parapet on the north, west and south facades. There are two skylights located in the northern portion of the roof. The walls are red brick, and the trim is dark green. The large glass panels with aluminum frame storefronts on the first floor on the west and north elevations were installed in the 1960s, although the spacing follows closely to that of the original wood frame storefronts. Green and white striped awnings are mounted above the storefronts just under a metal band that is set into the brick. Three part double hung, wood frame windows are on the second story and have sandstone sills and lintels. The original cornice, which was taken down in the 1960s to install metal panels over the facade, has not been replaced. An entrance on the south elevation has been bricked over. There is a large three part window on the second floor that fills the width of the office area hallway. On the east, along the back of the building, most of the double hung windows and doors are original. The doors are paneled with four lights, and there are large transoms above. Windows on the south and east are topped with segmental arches and sandstone sills.

Historical Background - Prominent Greeley architect Bessie Smith designed the Coronado Building for original owners John Theodore Jacobs, Dr. Robert Graham, and Robert Steele. It was built at a cost of about $40,000 and was the largest of any downtown building when it was completed in 1906. The building housed retail on the lower floor, including the Coronado Pharmacy, Wood and Son’s music store, R.G. Martin’s grocery store and the Evans Fruit Company. Upper story businesses include law offices of F.I. Ewing, John T. Jacobs, and C.C. Townsend and offices of local doctors including Robert Graham and Dr. Ella Mead, Greeley’s first female physician. Nellie Chestnut located a hairdressing salon upstairs and City Engineer O.F. Shattuck’s office was also located there. John T. Jacobs was a prominent Greeley lawyer and judge involved in the formulation of Colorado’s irrigation laws, having received his law degree from the University of Colorado. He came to Greeley in 1887. The Coronado Building “was considered to be a premier address for the wealthy professionals of Greeley, and several doctors had their offices in the building, including Ella Mae Mead, a respected physician and public health advocate.” (Quoted from State Register nomination form.) Dr. Ella Mead grew up in Greeley, having moved to Greeley when she was four. She attended medical school at the University of Colorado, graduating with a medical degree in 1903. She opened practice in Greeley after her internship in Denver. She also served as the City Health Officer, making her responsible for maintaining vital statistics for the city and Weld County. In this capacity, she served as a board member for the American Red Cross during World War I, and she began one of the first county-supported birth control clinics in the country in the 1930s. In 1947 the Colorado Medical Society honored her for contributions to medicine and public health. She retired from her private practice in 1953, and in 1958, she received the Medical Woman of the Year Award from the National Medical Women’s Association. Bessie Smith, Greeley’s first female architect and the designer of the Coronado Building, grew up in Greeley and graduated from Greeley High School in 1899. She studied architecture through Scranton Correspondence School and then worked in the Bearresen Brothers architectural firm in Denver for several years before returning to Greeley. She worked at her father’s contracting firm Hall & Smith, having an office in their building at 700 7th Street in early 1903. She designed commercial structures and houses. Although the Coronado Building is probably the only remaining commercial structure she designed, several of her houses remain, including 1601 11th Avenue, 1417 11th Avenue, the Southard House at 1103 9th Avenue, and the Plumb Farm House at 955 39th Avenue.